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Woman reclining on a beach

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and the changing status of women in the 1920s

George Spencer Watson (1869-1934)

Diana c.1923

RCIN 927464

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Among the many powers attributed to the Roman goddess Diana was the ability to oversee successful conception and safe childbirth. However, in this watercolour she is portrayed in her traditional role as hunter, and an archetype of the competent and free-spirited woman of great appeal to women coming of age after the First World War. Her short hair and skirt accord with both ancient representations of the goddess and with fashionable trends of the 1920s. It is an easy leap of the imagination to see this figure translated into three dimensions as a sleek art deco-style statuette.